Lawyer rearrested for threatening defendant Tuesday, October 9, 2007

MIYAZAKI — A Tokyo-based lawyer faced a fresh arrest warrant Tuesday for allegedly coercing a client of his into remaining silent during an interrogation, prosecutors said. Itaru Yamamoto, 53, is believed to have coerced the 20-year-old client into refraining from talking with investigators so that other members of the client's criminal group could escape, according to investigative sources. Yamamoto is suspected of telling the client, who was indicted as a member of a billing-fraud ring, "Keep silent. Otherwise your family and friends may be in trouble." Yamamoto was on bail after being indicted at the Miyazaki District Court for destruction of evidence. Asserting Yamamoto has been falsely accused, some 320 lawyers have formed a defense team for him. (Kyodo News)